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Fatal Crane Collapse at Mecca’s Grand Mosque

11 September 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Fatal Crane Collapse in Mecca | A crane carrying out restoration work on a mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca has collapsed, causing a reported 65 fatalities. The works were taking place in order to restore the Grand Mosque, the focal point of the Hajj.

Giant Lenin Statue Exhumed in Germany | The head of a 62 ft statue of Russian Revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin that stood in East Berlin until 1991 has been dug up from an ‘obscure sandpit’ in Eastern Germany, reports the Daily Telegraph. The statue will return to the German capital for an exhibition on the city’s disappeared monuments at the Spandau Citadel. Is this evidence that Germany is coming to terms with its past, or merely an exercise in ‘Ostalgie’?

‘Lost’ Nash Painting Comes up for Auction | A ‘forgotten masterpiece’ by Paul Nash is expected to fetch up to £100,000 when it comes up for auction next week. The work, entitled A Scarred Battlefield, dates from Nash’s time as an official war artist and depicts the trenches at the battle of Ypres during the First World War. According to The Times, the work was discovered in the present owner’s attic – which certainly adds life to its provenance.

Tate Expected to Return ‘Looted’ Constable | A new report by the UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel has recommended that a Constable painting looted after the German invasion of Hungary in 1944 should be returned to the heirs of its original ownerThe Art Newspaper reports. Beaching a Boat, Brighton (1824) was donated to the Tate in good faith in 1986, 40 years after it left Hungary.

Artists Call for Action on Refugee Crisis | Artists including Anish Kapoor, Conrad Shawcross, Jenny Saville, Edmund de Waal, Douglas Gordon and Sam Taylor-Johnson have placed an advert in major newspapers urging the UK government to ‘wake up to the urgency’ of the European refugee crisis. ‘It was the callous, inhumane language the government used that made me so angry’, explained one of the initiators of the ‘open letter’, Adam Broomberg (half of conceptual photography duo Broomberg & Chanarin).

New President for Philadelphia’s University of the Arts | The University of the Arts in Philadelphia has named David Yager as its new President. Yager, who is currently dean of the arts division at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will take up his new position in January.

Anglo-Ukrainian Art Prize Announced | The Firtash Foundation and the Saatchi Gallery have announced the launch of UK/raine, a competition for emerging artists living and working in Ukraine and the United Kingdom. The competition includes categories for installation, new media, painting, sculpture and street art.

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